On August 18, when a controversial senior living community near Green Pond was pitched to Bethlehem Township Commissioners, over 100 people appeared to oppose the plans. Many opposed the idea of a residential development next to a what the Audubon has designated an Important Bird Area that attracts 162 different species.
Michael Adams, another ardent environmentalist who grew up in Butztown, was one of these opponents.
He was furious at Commissioner Michael Hudak. Although I missed it, The Express Times claims he was reading a book while the public spoke.
"Mr. Hudak, I find your studied indifference contemptible, sir, and rude."
"That's your right," replied Hudak.
"I don't need you to affirm that right," said an angry Adams.
After that meeting, Hudak was asked by several residents what the hell he was doing. He decided to give an explanation at last night's meeting.
"I was reading the First Class Township Code," he explained, holding up his copy for all to see.
When Hudak saw the news account, without an explanation of what he was actually reading, "I was a little offended."
"One word makes all the difference," he added.
Although I was so busy watching the speakers that I had no idea what the Commissioners were doing, I am a little offended by Hudak's explanation. The Pennsylvania Sunshine Act gives the people the right to speak before elected officials take any action. That right means nothing if they don't listen. Whether Hudak was reading the First Class Township Code or Playboy is immaterial. He had a duty to listen. Adams perceived what Hudak was doing as a "studied indifference." He appears to be correct.